By Jasper Y. Arcalas, July 9 2019; Business Mirror

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THE Filipinos’ increasing demand for meat products, which will be driven by the improvement in their purchasing power, will outpace local production and force the country to import more to meet domestic requirement by 2028.

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) made this projection in a joint report, titled “Agricultural Outlook 2019-2028,” published on Monday.

The report indicated that Philippine meat production would increase at an annualized rate of 1.85 percent from 2019 to 2028 “due to rapidly increasing domestic demand” for animal protein products.

However, the rate is slower compared to the annual production growth rate of 2.75 percent posted by the local livestock and poultry sector from 2009 to 2018.

By 2028, the country’s total meat output is projected to reach 4.276 million metric tons, 22.03 percent higher than the average production of 3.504 MMT in 2016 to 2018.

Despite the expected increase in domestic output, this will not be enough to meet the country’s meat requirement, which may expand by 2.27 percent annually from 2019 to 2028.

The country’s meat consumption will rise 28.67 percent to 5.197 MMT by 2028, from the estimated 4.039 MMT. The double-digit growth in meat demand translates into a 0.90-percent average growth in the per-capita consumption from 2018 to 2027.

The report projected that a Filipino would consume at least 34.6 kilograms (kg) of meat annually by 2028. The country’s per-capita meat consumption from 2015 to 2017 averaged 31.2 kg.

The country’s meat imports are estimated to expand by 4.43 percent annually from 2019 to 2028 to plug the shortfall in local output.

The Philippines is estimated to import 924,000 MT of meat by 2028, nearly double the average volume imported in 2016-2018 of 542,000 MT.

“The Asian region will continue to dominate in the area of meat imports, accounting for 56 percent of global trade,” the report read.

“The greatest increases will originate from the Philippines, along with members of the CPTPP2 (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership), such as Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam, where consumption and import growth, supported by favorable economic growth, will outpace domestic production expansion,” it added.

From 2019 to 2028, local pork output could increase annually by 1.76 percent to 2.226 MMT from the estimated output of 1.861 MMT. Demand is expected to reach 2.417 MMT by 2028, higher than the current 1.992 MMT.

For poultry, production is projected to expand by 2.02 percent annually to 1.619 MMT by 2028, lower than the estimated total demand of 2.13 MMT for chicken meat.